Sustained success is the hardest thing to do in sports, especially college football, which features far more personnel turnover than at the professional level. That’s exactly what Kirby Smart and Georgia Football are trying to do.
Coming off back-to-back titles, the Dawgs are trying to do something that has never been done in the modern era — three straight national championships. It’s never been done before because sustaining that level of success is next to near impossible.
There are several reasons dynasties come to an end. The most prominent is a head coach leaving the program, which has happened more than any other reason. However, sometimes, dynasties end because another one begins. That is what might be happening to Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide because his prodigee has a monster built in Athens.
However, it takes more than a couple of titles to become a dynasty. If Smart wins one more in the next couple of years, he’ll be in elite company. It takes constant pressure and sometimes even reinventing your team; that’s exactly how Saban has stayed relevant for more than a decade.
So, how will Kirby Smart his edge? Motivation. The former Bulldogs defensive back keeps his team hungry by rooting complacency out as much as possible. His players have also adopted this attitude.
Stetson Bennett loved rubbing everyone’s noses in their success, reminding everyone how they wrote him and his teammates off. Nolan Smith infamously stated people had his team pegged to go 7-5. Both of which were absolutely false. Still, more power to them and Smart for being able to sustain that level of hunger.
“I worry about complacency every day,” Kirby Smart said. “You look for it, and you look for signs of it. It’s like a fire. You try to stomp it out. You don’t allow it to happen if you can help it”
How exactly do Smart and his staff accomplish that?
“Competition is the first way. The second way is acknowledging it and confronting it. The third way is mentally making sure they understand that you’re not going to get the same team week in and week out that you might have gotten had you not won two.” Smart continued. “We try to visually paint a picture for our players to see that, and we tell them the biggest threat and opponent we have the entire year is Georgia.”
Georgia is a well oiled machine right now, and their run doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.